Mount Vernon resident Robb Rourke, is the latest in a growing number of candidates to announce a run at the chance to unseat U.S. Representative James P. Moran (D-8).
Rourke, who was a Democrat until recently, has switched parties and is now running as a Republican.
“I worked on [state delegate] Kris Amundson’s campaign and respect her immensely,” Rourke said. “However, it’s the Democratic Party as a whole, that I have a problem with. This is not the Party of John or Bobby Kennedy or even Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman. The Party is in a muddle and I was beginning to feel that they were talking at me as opposed to talking to me. I have found the Republican Party to be more receptive.”
Rourke moved to the area in June, 2001. He has a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and is currently a house dad, caring for four teenagers and a toddler. His most recent job was as president of the Carl Sandburg Middle School PTA.
With so little experience, why is Rourke starting as a candidate for Congress?
“I was born on Election Day and since then have felt that I was destined to go to Washington to work,” Rourke said. “I really want to make a difference in the lives of people.”
As for issues, Rourke said he is concerned about senior citizens’ prescription benefits. “Congress can’t seem to get it together to do anything. In the meantime, senior citizens are suffering from higher and higher prescription costs. I saw my grandmother have to pay $378.79 a month for medication she needed to recover from cancer when she was living on a widow’s pension of between $650 and $750 per month. We have to stop talking about this and start doing something about it.”
EDUCATION IS another issue that is on his mind. “We need to put some teeth in the No Child Left Behind program,” he said. “Someone needs to go out and really explain to the people what this is all about,” he said.
Rourke’s wife, Monica, is running his campaign. “We dated in high school and then went our separate ways,” Rourke said. “After 25 years, her husband died tragically, leaving her with four teenagers. We are married now.”
Rourke postponed his campaign kickoff last week because of a family emergency, but is planning to hold the event at the Hollin Hall Senior Center in September.